Bookmark and Share Mankind Disco Hit Remix And Album Due For Anniversary

10/07/2013 08:00:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

Mankind blasted into the UK singles chart from nowhere in 1978 with their disco rendition of the Doctor Who theme - and now a special remix of their top 30 hit Dr Who? is being produced to mark the show's 50th anniversary, with a new album containing their recordings being released too.

The album Space, Time And Beyond - due out on Monday 18th November on the Mondo Recordings label - will be a bumper affair consisting of:
  • A translucent-blue 11-track vinyl LP with gatefold sleeve telling the story of the making of the 1978 single
  • A poster plus unpublished photos from the first Doctor Who convention in the USA, held in 1979 and for which a special pressing of the single was made
A CD consisting of 14 tracks (the same as the vinyl plus three more) will also be released separately on the same date. Containing the same information as the vinyl release, it will be presented in a six-panel digipak.

Dos Amigoz - rising stars on the production, remix, and DJing scene - are creating the 2013 remix, with work on Dr Who? (Dos Amigoz Space Time Remix) featuring Diane Charlemagne expected to finish tomorrow. It will be given a worldwide release via all major download sites on a date to be announced soon.

Brought together in 1978 by Don Gallacher - a recording engineer determined to be a record producer - Mankind took Dr Who?, released in October that year, to number 25 in the UK, spending a total of 12 weeks in the chart. It eventually sold more than 240,000 copies, with Gallacher now commenting:
If a single sold that many copies between October and January in the present day, it would probably be number one for the entire Christmas/New Year period!
It also saw them appear on Top of the Pops three times, with those appearances due to be aired again soon on BBC Four as part of the channel's ongoing series of repeats of the former BBC1 pop-music programme.

Gallacher said:
I realised a year ago that the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who on TV was coming up. Should I do anything about it? I have a very busy life as a film music supervisor and now a film producer. [The Black Dogs - a British film about a fictitious supergroup - is currently in pre-production, with the actors' names firmly under wraps.]

Still, I have always kept a toe in the music business water and it was my first love. I had compiled and remastered all the Mankind tracks and thought of a modern remix of the single. When I bumped into my old colleague and friend Andy Richmond, who owns his own label, Mondo Recordings, I mentioned my ideas for a Mankind album. Andy called me shortly after and said "OK, let's do it."

The past few weeks of preparation have been like 1978 all over again, and it is great fun! When Andy suggested Dos Amigoz to do the remix I was thrilled. What I know about today's dance music is not very much, but I know the duo's reputation and like their work.

I awaited the new remix with some trepidation. What if I didn't like it? Well, it arrived and I didn't like it - I absolutely loved it! These were the sounds I could only dream about in 1978!
Dr Who? originally came about after Gallacher had noted Meco's number 7 hit the previous year with the disco version of the Star Wars Theme - Cantina Band. Together with keyboard player Mark Stevens, he hired session musicians guitarist Dave Christopher, bass player Dave Green, and drummer Graham Jarvis (since his usual session drummer, Graham Hollingworth, wasn't available). A 24-track studio in Clapham was booked to record it, with Gallacher adding the vocals himself to circumvent Radio 1's anti-instrumental policy at the time.

The single was first released on the Motor Records label, which had been formed especially by Gallacher for that purpose, but overwhelming interest led to the disc's promotion and distribution switching to Pinnacle - an eager new label better placed to cope with the growing nationwide demand.

For the Top of the Pops appearances, Paul Martinelli - a former band member of Gallacher's - stood in for Christopher on guitar and mimed the vocals, while Hollingworth finally got the drumming honours.

Tragically, Stevens, Martinelli, Green, and Jarvis have all since died.

Gallacher is now a freelance music supervisor, while Hollingworth is still a session drummer and teaches drums too. Christopher, meanwhile, now works for a helicopter manufacturer.

The vinyl album package can be pre-ordered here, and the CD of Space, Time And Beyond can be pre-ordered here.

Doctor Who News will be running a Mankind competition shortly with fabulous prizes, so keep checking back!

Mankind now have a dedicated Facebook page and can also be followed on Twitter.

UPDATE - TUESDAY 8th OCTOBER: Contrary to earlier information received, Doctor Who News has now been informed that because of a misunderstanding with the label, a CD will not be included with the vinyl package. This news item has therefore been amended accordingly, and we regret any confusion caused.
UPDATE - MONDAY 28th OCTOBER: It has emerged that despite earlier information received, the vinyl album will contain 11 tracks and the CD album will consist of 14 tracks. It has also come to light that the original single was released in October 1978, not November of that year. This news item has therefore been amended accordingly once again, and once again any confusion caused is regretted.